Spring Season Newsletter

Dear Community,

May your spring be full of constructive forward momentum. My newsletter is about the Spring season as seen through the eyes of Chinese medicine and includes helpful tips, research highlights and suggestions for optimizing your health by connecting with the season.

Spring is a great time of year to make a plan and begin bringing your winter visioning into the world and into fruition. With the new growth and seed planting of spring, it is a time of growth in our lives, relationships and work. It is the season that lends itself well to getting busy with what we want and need to do. This is really the most active season and it’s a great time of year to focus on exercise! It’s also the time of year for cleansing – particularly physical cleansing (cleansing is not appropriate however, during pregnancy).

For my spring and summer projects I’d like to network and speak aboutChinese medicine more. So if you know a group of people who would like to learnmore about Chinese medicine, please let me know. In addition, if you knowother practitioners you think highly of – doctors, massage therapists,chiropractors, naturopaths etc. I’d love to connect with them too!

Spring Life Style Ideas

Exercising in a way that is safe and doesn’t cause injury is one of the best things you can prioritize during the spring season. The liver is in charge of the smooth distribution of energy in the body, and exercise supports the liver in doing its job. Any exercise that gets energy moving and is enjoyable, is very beneficial for the liver. Being outdoors and walking, running, biking, doing tai chi or qi gong, yoga and stretching etc is ideal.

Do some thorough planning: those inspirations you tuned intoover the winter should now become more concrete. If you are not a good planner,enlist the help of someone who is. Create a plan with a therapist, life coach,business coach, teacher or personal trainer.

Whatever it is you want to accomplish, put the plan intomotion. The energy of the spring will support you in getting thingsaccomplished, and supports a busier schedule.

Spring time is the season for physical cleansing. However during pregnancy is not a good time for
cleansing, so these recommendations do not apply to pregnant women. Springcleansing includes our bodies and the space around us – our home, yards, and placesof work. Here are a few simple physical cleansing ideas that can be incorporated intoyour daily routines in the springtime:

Drink lots of water! Adding lemon or drinking dandelion tea is great.

Dry brush your skin with a skin brush before bathing.

When showering alternate between hot and cold water.

Do saunas, or bikram yoga a few times over the spring; have a good sweat.

Get some body work – a massage, craniosacral, or acupuncture treatment.

Make sure you are also getting some time for rest, and relaxation.

Get some new music to listen to.

Use foods that have good cleansing properties during the spring:

Fruits: Apples,blueberries, cranberries, grapefruit

Veggies: avocado,beets, cabbage, celery, collard greens, cucumbers, kale

Other: garlic,lemons, parsley, seaweed, watercress

Smile often.

In Chinese medicine the spring is associated with the liver and gallbladder

The internal organs associated with the Spring season are the liver and gallbladder. It is a particularly good time to improve the health of these organs with more energy available to them. Below is a description of themes and health issues of the liver and gallbladder. Chinese medicine can be used to improve both their physical and emotional aspects.


One of the main functions of the liver is to store blood, and so the liver regulates menstruation. The liver also regulates the flow of energy through the body. When the liver is not properly regulating energy and it is not flowing smoothly, this can affect our emotional state and can also affect digestion. The liver controls the contraction and relaxation of sinews and tendons. Our eyes are also related to the liver. Anger, frustration and resentment are the emotions that relate to the liver.


The gallbladder stores and excretes bile for digestion. Its mental and emotional aspect relates to our decisiveness in making decisions, and giving us courage and initiative. When the gallbladder is deficient we may be nervous, timid, become easily discouraged or startled, and lack drive and courage. Health problems associated with the gallbladder: gallbladder stones, difficulty digesting fats, dizziness, blurred vision.

If you or someone you know is experiencing liver or gallbladder related health conditions, now is an
ideal time to be proactive in addressing them. Acupuncture and Chinese herbs can help.

Research Highlights

In patients receiving chemotherapy, the use of Chinese herbal formulas known to support the liver resulted in lower serum AST and ALT (liver enzyme) levels. This means the herbs protected the liver during chemotherapy.
A metaanalysis found that for premenstrual syndrome (PMS) acupuncture significantly improved symptoms compared to control groups.

Spring blessings,

Johanna Granger Acupuncturist and Herbalist